If you are a cat owner who pays close attention to the activities of your cat, then you will agree with me that our furry friends exhibit some fascinating behavior from time to time. Some of these fascinating feline behaviors are interesting but sometimes questionable. One of these weird feline behaviors is our cats eating their whiskers when they fall out.
This act leaves cat owners curious and concerned about the reasons behind their feline friends eating their whiskers and the possible dangers that may arise from the whisker’s consumption, thereby threatening the cat’s health. So why do cats eat their whiskers when they fall out?
There are several reasons cats eat their whiskers when they fall out, and we’ll address that in this article.
Table of Contents
- Why do cats eat their whiskers when they fall out
- What Are Cat Whiskers Made Of?
- What Causes The Cat Whiskers To Fall Out?
- Can Kitten Or Adult Cat’s whiskers Grow Back If Pulled Out Or Cut?
- How To prevent Whiskers Loss In Cats
- Do Cats Feel Pain If You Cut Their Whiskers?
- Why Do Mother Cats Chew Off Their Kittens Whiskers?
- Final Thought
Why do cats eat their whiskers when they fall out
A cat suffering from sickness and diseases that cause the loss of its whiskers will likely eat them when they fall out. Also, medical issues(PICA) relating to a cat’s mental health are another critical factor influencing cats to eat their whiskers when they fall out. Cat owners need to ensure their feline pets enjoy sound health physically, mentally, and in all ramifications.
Grooming is a usual way of life for cats, but in some cases, they could excitedly or out of stress over-groom. Over-grooming in cats is another culprit that may cause your cat to eat its whiskers when they fall out.
Behavioral problems can also trigger your cat to eat its whiskers. Behavioral issues that lead to stress and anxiety in cats can lead to whiskers loss of cats, thereby influencing cats to eat their whiskers when they fall out.
What Are Cat Whiskers Made Of?
Cat whiskers are made of Keratin. Keratin is made of fibrous protein. It can also be found in nails and hair. A Cat’s whiskers made of keratin are stronger than the regular hair on a cat’s body. The whiskers of a cat do not contain muscles or blood. The whiskers are a highly essential part of the sensory system of cats because they are also made of a Proprioceptor, which detects and senses elements of vibration.
The whiskers are also known as vibrissae. The whiskers help cats navigate the environment as they serve as a radar system for cats even in the dark. They are long and look somewhat like an antenna.
What Causes The Cat Whiskers To Fall Out?
Caring cat owners are curious to find out what causes their cats’ whiskers to fall Out. Some several reasons or circumstances that can cause cat whiskers to fall out. Feline acne is one of the critical causes of cat whiskers falling out. Feline acne is usually caused by the excess production of keratine and the overactivity of the sebaceous gland in the cat’s body. This leads to comedones ( blackheads) in cats, which can eventually cause a cat’s whiskers to fall out.
Allergies such as environmental allergies, food allergies, and allergies related to parasites are other factors that cause cat whiskers to fall out. Sometimes these allergies cause irritation and itching in our feline pets, and they end up losing their whiskers in a bid to scratch the face.
Skin infections such as bacterial infections and fungal infections can also cause our furry friends to lose their whiskers. When a cat suffers a skin infection on the face, on the same spot as its whiskers, the whiskers are likely to fall out with the coat.
Furthermore, physical damage is another popular culprit of cat whiskers falling out. Bodily injury resulting from cat fights can lead to the removal of a cat’s whiskers. Physical Accidents can also cause the whiskers of cats to fall out. Cat owners are advised to pay close attention to their cats, especially the ones allowed to roam outdoors.
Can Kitten Or Adult Cat’s whiskers Grow Back If Pulled Out Or Cut?
Yes, kitten or adult cat whiskers can grow back if pulled out or cut off. The whiskers of our feline pets are similar to hair in terms of their ability to re-grow. A healthy kitten or adult cat that has no medical condition such as mange or alopecia that can affect their hair growth will have the ability to re-grow its whiskers when they are pulled out or cut off. Cats are known to shed some of their whiskers naturally occasionally, and there is no cause for alarm as long as the cat is healthy.
Though it is a medical fact that kittens or adult cat whiskers can grow back if they fall out, get pulled out, or cut off, however, it is not advisable for cat owners to intentionally pull out or cut the whiskers of their furry friends except when recommended by a qualified veterinarian for health reasons because without the whiskers cats are left disoriented, as the whiskers are vital for the daily activities of the cats. It is important to note that cat whiskers have no fixed duration to re-grow back. Usually, cat whiskers re-grow back in months, depending on the cat’s breed, health status, and diet.
How To prevent Whiskers Loss In Cats
One of the most effective and efficient ways cat owners can prevent whiskers loss in cats is by feeding their cats a cat-friendly balanced diet. A cat that gets sufficient nutrients and vitamins from a balanced diet stands a better chance of maintaining healthy whiskers. Cat owners are advised to collaborate with qualified veterinarians to ensure that their cats eat nutritious food regularly.
Furthermore, cat owners should be conscious of their cat environment to prevent whisker loss in cats. Changes in the environment and general surroundings can lead to stress and anxiety in cats, which can eventually result in the loss of whiskers. Cat owners should ensure the environment is safe and conducive for their feline pets.
Regular and timely visits to the veterinary should be done to ensure that any underlying sickness that can lead to the loss of cat whiskers is discovered on time and treated to prevent whiskers loss in cats. Cat owners can also give their cats dietary supplements that promote the healthy growth of the cat whiskers.
Do Cats Feel Pain If You Cut Their Whiskers?
Generally, cats will not feel pain if you cut their whiskers because it does not have nerves. However, forcefully pulling the whiskers out will hurt the cat because they have hair follicles at the base with nerves.
Even though cats will not feel pain if you cut their whiskers, it is essential to note that cutting off your cat whiskers can put them in trauma because, without the whiskers, cats will be disoriented and confused as the whiskers are essential for cats to sense their environment.
Why Do Mother Cats Chew Off Their Kittens Whiskers?
Many cat owners wonder why mother cats chew off their kittens’ whiskers. The most common reason is excessive grooming. Every observant cat owner will agree that mother cats are in the habit of grooming their kittens. Sometimes this grooming by the mother cats gets out of hand, and they end up with the whiskers of their kitten in their mouth. This excessive grooming happens unintentionally, as the mother cat intends to pass their scent onto their kittens and clean them up.
In some cases, mother cats chew off their kittens’ whiskers as a form of discipline to exert dominance and control, especially when kittens misbehave. Stress and anxiety also influence mother cats to chew the whiskers of their kittens. Sometimes mother cats chew their kitten’s whiskers as a way of bonding together.
The whiskers are undoubtedly essential and highly functional in the daily living of cats; cat owners should consult a qualified veterinarian first if cats eat their whiskers when they fall out before taking any other steps to guarantee the safety and wellness of their lovely feline pets. It is also advisable for cat owners to vigilant of their cat’s activities to ensure that they don’t accidentally damage their whiskers, as the whiskers serve as radar that helps cats to navigate their surroundings effectively. Without the whiskers, cats are primarily disoriented and confused.